Last Updated: 7/22/23 | July 22nd, 2023
Rome is a city that sparks a thousand mental images. From ancient structures like the Colosseum or the Pantheon, to the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, to the Vatican — not to mention mountains of pasta and other delicious food — it has it all.
But planning a trip to Rome can sometimes be a pain.
Rome is huge. It has 15 municipi (administrative areas), with the city center municipio alone divided into 22 smaller districts.
Where should you stay? What are the best neighborhoods?
As a visitor, there are only a handful of districts worth staying in. Whether you’re after a more historical area or something more local-feeling, there is a neighborhood in this amazing city to suit you. Below are all my favorite areas to stay along with suggested accommodation:
So, with that said, here’s a breakdown of the neighborhoods so you can figure out which one is right for you!
Table of Contents
Where to Stay Overall: Trastevere
Trastevere is filled with narrow, cobblestone alleyways that run past buildings decorated with tangled ivy and vines. It makes you feel like you’re back in a medieval city.
For many centuries, Trastevere was a working-class district, but in recent years, it’s become a bohemian hot spot for foodies and tourists wanting to go beyond the big-name attractions. At night, you can mingle in the Piazza di Santa Maria with crowds of young Romans and students enjoying the nightlife, eating, and drinking. It is my favorite part of town and my top recommendation for a neighborhood to stay in!
Best places to stay in Trastevere
- BUDGET: Borgo Ripa by Hostel Trastevere – This hostel is right in the charming heart of Trastevere. There’s a bar on-site and a tranquil garden for hanging out. Best of all, the beds are singles, so there are no bunks in the dorms. It’s an awesome place to stay.
- MIDRANGE: Loly Boutique Hotel Roma – This boutique property is super quiet, and the rooms have a lot of natural light, beautiful modern decor, and comfortable beds. The lobby is also exquisite. It feels more like a five-star place than midrange! I find the owners and staff are really friendly and helpful too.
- LUXURY – Honestly, there’s no luxury in this neighborhood. Loly is the nicest hotel in the area (in my opinion). If you want something really luxurious, you’ll want to stay in another part of town.
Where to Stay for Arts/Culture (1): Monti
The very oldest part of Rome is Monti, which is full of winding cobblestone streets and antique stores. Here you will find plenty of quirky cafés, intimate bars, and shops to explore. This neighborhood is smack in the city center, so you are close to all the major archaeological sites. If you want to be near those (and the main train station), this is the place to be!
Best places to stay in Monti
- BUDGET: New Generation Rome Hostel – You can’t beat this hostel’s location: it’s just a 10-minute walk from Termini Station and the Colosseum. Other than that, it is a pretty standard hostel, with decent dorms and a nice common area to meet people.
- MIDRANGE: Apollo Rooms Colosseo – Clean and new, with friendly owners and a gelato bar at the back of the building, this property has a vibe that makes up for the fairly small (but nicely decorated) rooms.
- LUXURY: Monti Palace Hotel – This stylish hotel includes a wholesome buffet breakfast and a rooftop bar with gorgeous views of the city. The rooms are spacious, sleek, and well lit, with a lot wood, natural light, and stylish modern design.
Where to Stay for Arts/Culture (2): Pigneto
Less than a 15-minute tram ride from the center of Rome, Pigneto is a colorful neighborhood full of interesting street art and murals that’s had a hipster makeover in recent years. It’s filling up with trendy bars and restaurants and often gets labeled “bohemian,” although it’s really a mix of small, older homes and new apartment buildings. This area isn’t close to any tourist site, so everything to see is a bit far, but if you want a real residential neighborhood, you should stay here.
Best places to stay in Pigneto
- BUDGET: Pigneto Guest House – This guesthouse has simple rooms with nice beds. It’s in a quiet spot with lots of shops and bakeries nearby. It’s the best non-hostel budget option in the area.
- MID-RANGE: Eurostars Roma Aeterna – Right on the Piazza del Pigneto, this hotel used to be a pharmaceutical factory. The huge rooms are decorated with minimalist but stylish décor. The hotel offers a great breakfast, and there’s a decent gym too. With it’s central location, it’s a good midrange option.
- LUXURY: There’s no truly luxury hotel options in this part of town. If you’re looking for something high end, stay in a different part of Rome.
Where to Stay for Luxury: Prati
Prati is close to St Peter’s Square and the Vatican — it shares a border with the northern end of the Vatican State — and includes Via Cola di Rienzo, which is one of the most well-known shopping streets for high-end brands. Prati is also an area where you’re less likely to find hordes of tourists, so if you want a quieter area to stay in, especially at night, this is it.
Best places to stay in Prati
- BUDGET: Comics Guesthouse – This quirky hostel is comic book themed, with each room decorated for different characters. There are video and arcade games in the lounge, and the metro is super close ,so it’s easy to get out and explore.
- MIDRANGE: Luxury on the River – Despite its name, this is a midrange hotel. It’s located in a historic building overlooking the river. The staff here are super helpful, and the rooms are quite large. There’s real Italian flare to the décor and a cozy lounge and library.
- LUXURY: Hotel NH Collection Roma Giustiniano – This four-star hotel with a grand lobby has spacious rooms, all of which have gorgeous parquet floors; many also have balconies with great views. There’s also a small gym and a restaurant. It’s your fairly standard luxury chain hotel, but it’s going to be the nicest in the area.
Where to Stay for Nightlife: Tridente
The Tridente area has plenty of tourists coming to see the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, but there’s also amazing shopping and fancy hotels and restaurants here. Strolling back to your accommodation here, you’ll pass historic sites, venerable architecture, and endless options for dining.
Staying here means you might not get a particularly “local” feel for what it’s like to live in Rome, but you’ll be near many of the places you’ll want to visit, so it’s very convenient. Depending on where you stay in the area, it can actually be pretty quiet (closer to the park).
Best places to stay in Tridente
- BUDGET: Hotel King – Just a five-minute walk from the Spanish Steps, this hotel is great value for such a central location. The rooms are clean and air-conditioned (though they’re relatively small). It’s the best no-frills spot in the area.
- MIDRANGE: Crossing Condotti – Also just around the corner from the Spanish Steps, Crossing Condotti is a small and elegant boutique hotel with an entrance off a quiet street, beautiful décor, and lots of extras. If you’re traveling with kids, you can stay in the adjacent building, in suites made of two connecting double bedrooms.
- LUXURY: Hotel d’Inghilterra Roma – This hotel close to the Spanish Steps and the Via del Corso shopping street, located in a beautiful 16th-century building, offers affordable luxury compared to some really pricey places in this part of town. The staff are very attentive, and the hotel restaurant, Café Romano, gets rave reviews. Each of its 88 rooms is uniquely decorated too.
Where to Stay for Budget Travelers: San Lorenzo
If you want to stay somewhere with a student vibe, then San Lorenzo is it, near the Sapienza University and walking distance east of the city center. The neighborhood was bombed heavily in World War II and was never rebuilt quite as well as other areas, but what San Lorenzo lacks in prettiness it makes up for with fun. The area is super close to the train station, and there are many hostels here.
Best places to stay in San Lorenzo
- BUDGET: The Beehive – This is one of my favorite hostels in Europe. It’s a fun and social place that hosts events; there’s also a WhatsApp group, so travelers can message each other about plans. There’s an indoor lounge, an outdoor courtyard, and two fully equipped kitchens, and the showers have nice water pressure too.
- MIDRANGE: Hotel Laurentia – Right in the liveliest part of San Lorenzo, this hotel offers a delicious breakfast. The fine rooms (ranging from singles to quadruples) are spacious for the price, with a simple but elegant look. The dining area is quite different, with large brick arches dividing it into somewhat separate sections for some privacy.
- LUXURY: Hotel Royal Court – A very good value, this four-star hotel on the Termini Station side of San Lorenzo has an art nouveau look, with wood flooring and period furniture, and many of the rooms have really unique furnishings. The rooms and bathrooms are large; the quadruple rooms are a great option for family trips.
Rome is a big city with lots to see and experience, so figuring out which neighborhood will work best for you is partly about deciding whether you want to indulge in regular restaurant meals or nightlife, or be near plenty of the historical sights, or try some more residential neighborhoods for a “when in Rome” kind of experience.
If you have a longer stay, you can always consider starting in one of the inner-city neighborhoods while you see the most famous sights, then having a few days a little further out to enjoy shopping and dining among locals.
Whatever you choose, Rome is a simply amazing destination, and I’m sure you’ll be impressed with it!
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Book Your Trip to Rome: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. It is my favorite search engine, because it searches websites and airlines around the globe, so you always know no stone is being left unturned!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld, as it has the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com, as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancelations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it, as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those 70 and over)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money too.
Need a Guide?
Rome has some really interesting tours. My favorite company is Take Walks. It has expert guides and can get you behind the scenes at the city’s best attractions.
If you prefer food tours, Devour is the best company. I always learn a ton and eat incredible food on its tours!
Want More Information on Rome?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Rome for even more planning tips!